David Dastmalchian

American actor
David Dastmalchian
Born (1984-07-21) July 21, 1984 (age 32)
Pennsylvania, United States
Occupation Actor
Years active 2005–present

David Dastmalchian (pronounced dast-mol-chian[needs IPA]; born July 21, 1984[1]) is an American actor known for film, television and theatre work. Raised in Kansas, he studied at The Theatre School at DePaul University.[2] In Chicago, he received acclaim for lead roles in Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie and Sam Shepard's Buried Child.



Dastmalchian's feature film debut came in the late 2000s, as the Joker’s deranged henchman, Thomas Schiff, in Christopher Nolan's movie The Dark Knight. His turn as Bob Taylor in Denis Villeneuve's Prisoners[3] received strong reviews. Richard Corliss of Time called Dastmalchian's performance "excellent - chatty, modest with some subtle telltale psychopathy" and The Guardian's Paul MacInnes likened his introduction as a new suspect to Kevin Spacey's entrance in Seven.[4]

In March 2014, Dastmalchian was awarded the Special Jury Prize for Courage in Storytelling at the South by Southwest Film Festival. He wrote and starred in the feature film Animals, directed by Collin Schiffli. Ashley Moreno of The Austin Chronicle credits Dastmalchian's screenplay with "present[ing] an authenticity often lacking in films about drug abuse."[5] Film Threat's Brian Tallerico similarly sings the praises of Dastmalchian's breakout performance, noting his ability to "capture that sense of self-loathing that comes through in the body language of an addict without overselling it." [6]

Other feature film appearances include starring roles in the psychological thriller The Employer,[7] the indie grindhouse hit Sushi Girl, the Detroit-based drama Cass (winner, San Diego Black Film Festival), Girls Will Be Girls 2012 (sequel to the cult hit, Girls Will Be Girls), Saving Lincoln, Virgin Alexander and the Peyton Reed-helmed Marvel Studios film, Ant Man.

Dastmalchian appeared in Michel Franco's Chronic alongside Tim Roth.

He has been on television as Simon on the Fox sci-fi series Almost Human episode "Simon Says", as a chess expert and murder suspect on CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and as Oz Turner on the BBC series Intruders. Other television appearances include the FX comedy The League, the Showtime series Ray Donovan, and NBC's medical drama ER.

Personal lifeEdit

Dastmalchian was born in Pennsylvania but raised in Overland Park, Kansas.[8] He is of Armenian, Persian, Italian, Irish and English descent. Prior to beginning his career as an actor, he suffered from a heroin addiction for five years before getting clean. He wrote about his experience in his screenplay, Animals.[9]


As actorEdit

Year Title Role Notes
2008 The Dark Knight Thomas Schiff
ER Young Man Episode: "Heal Thyself"
2009 Horsemen Terrence
2012 Say When Damon
Cass Joshua Whitmore
Virgin Alexander Hank
Sushi Girl Nelson
Singled Out Luke
The League Morgue Worker Episode: "Judge MacArthur"
2013 Saving Lincoln Major Eckert
The Employer James Harris
Prisoners Bob Taylor
Ray Donovan English Teacher Episode: "Black Cadillac"
2014 Animals Jude Writer, Winner SXSW Film Festival - Special Jury Prize
Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie Sergeant L. J. Ng Cameo
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Lee Crosby Episode: "Killer Moves"
Almost Human Simon Episode: "Simon Says"
Intruders Oz Turner Episode: "She Was Provisional"
2015 Chronic Bernard
Ant-Man Kurt
CSI: Cyber Logan Reeves Episode: "Family Secrets"
2016 12 Monkeys Kyle Slade Episodes: "Bodies of Water", "Immortal"
MacGyver Murdoc Episode: "Corkscrew"
2017 Gotham Dwight Pollard Episodes: "Ghosts", "Smile Like You Mean It"
Blade Runner 2049 Filming
The Flash Abra Kadabra Episode: "Abra Kadabra"
Music videos
Year Title Role Notes
2012 "Constant Conversations" Himself Passion Pit video


  1. ^ Niccum, Jon (May 9, 2015). "David Dastmalchian goes from addiction to 'Ant-Man' and beyond". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 17, 2016. 
  2. ^ "The Theatre School News". Theatre.depaul.edu. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "Variety article: 'Prisoners' finds Dastmalchian". Variety.com. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Paul MacInnes. "Prisoners: Toronto 2013 – first look review". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-01-09. 
  5. ^ "SXSW Film Review: 'Animals'". Austinchronicle.com. Retrieved 2016-01-09. 
  6. ^ "Animals - Review". Archived from the original on February 4, 2015. Retrieved May 11, 2015. 
  7. ^ "Quiet Earth article: Malcolm-McDowell-puts-applicants-through-hell-in-THE-EMPLOYER". Quietearth.us. Retrieved 8 April 2013. 
  8. ^ Niccum, Jon (May 9, 2015). "David Dastmalchian goes from addiction to 'Ant-Man' and beyond". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 17, 2016. 
  9. ^ Niccum, Jon (May 9, 2015). "David Dastmalchian goes from addiction to 'Ant-Man' and beyond". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved October 17, 2016. 

External linksEdit